Welcome to another edition of Monday Morning Thoughts.
I’m sure most of us have been on the wrong end of poor customer service. Unfortunately, this is a part of life most will experience, just like the death of a family member and/or loved one.
What separates the successful from the unsuccessful isn’t what happens to them, but rather how they respond to what happens.
After receiving poor and/or insulting service, our standard response is “I want to speak to the manager.” Most will follow-up by notifying as many people as they can of their experience as a victim. A portion will ensure a price is paid by writing a complaint letter to the manager, local newspaper(s) and conclude by vowing to never frequent the establishment again.
While the rude and/or disrespectful employee or owner may deserve these responses & corresponding repercussions; the many hard-working, undeserving employees and/or owner do not. Remember, any establishment that closes (or loses revenue) affects the owner, the employees and all of their families.
Today, I invite you to step out of the problem and into the solution.
These responses keep us in the problem. Not only do the responses MAGNIFY the problem, they create new problems.
These responses leave others with the impression it’s the entire company of employees acting in unison instead of one employee having a tough day. We allow our hurt feelings, our ego, to make sure we get a pound of flesh for the ounce of pain we’ve experienced.
With today’s internet, we can spread our anger towards a business or individual at a rate of 10, 100, or 1,000 times faster than the old fashion way of phone calls and writing letters.
I participate with an online service called “Yelp”. Yelp provides a forum to rate businesses, services, products, etc., and write personal comments on your experiences. It gives you a location to check multiple references at one time. When I signed up, it was with the intent of giving some positive press and exposure to businesses I frequent as well as to business owners I admire and respect.
What I’m finding is people are writing negative comments that serve no other purpose than to keep patrons from the respective establishment.
A recent post on Yelp was a complaint against a policy change at Red Robin in Pleasanton. The reviewer stated she used to bring her children & watch the sporting events on TV while dining. The policy change forbids anyone under the age of 21 to sit at the tables in the bar area.
By complaining on Yelp it doesn’t address the issue but incites other families not to frequent the restaurant. This affects every employee of Red Robin (their children, spouse, etc.), even though none of them were involved in the decision.
This is being part of the problem. Stepping into the solution would be to write a letter to the corporate office, expressing your frustration with no longer being able to enjoy a meal and watch
sports with your children. You could ask they reconsider their
decision. You could express it’s a law in California you cannot take a minor into a Sports Bar. You could share the benefit it would be to advertise as a family restaurant, you provide an opportunity for parents to experience watching sports with their children while dining.
The power of your words will go from “making them pay” with innocent employees and their families feeling the repercussions, to helping a local restaurant increase its business, possibly hiring more employees, increasing the local tax base, and helping families bond over food and sports.
When you receive poor service or are disrespected by an employee, I encourage you to ask different questions! Instead of asking, why am I being treated so poorly? Ask yourself, I wonder what happened to this individual to cause him/her to lash out at me? Or what can I do to improve this individual’s disposition? Your brain will gofrom answers like “because he/she doesn’t respect you” to “maybe he/she has a sick child at home” or “maybe he/she recently lost a loved one” or “he/she just had a group leave without paying.”
I believe if you step out of the problem, you’ll go from feeling as if you “stuck it to someone” and step into the solution, you’ll start to feel as though you made a difference – one that positively impacts an entire business, its employees and their families.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I hope your day is as incredible as you
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"Anyone can tear down and destroy.
It takes heart to encourage and build."
Bryan M. Balch
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